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Police catch suspected bank robber

GREENFIELD — The masked man suspected of robbing the Greenfield Cooperative Bank at gunpoint last week was arrested Wednesday evening in Holyoke.

Richard C. May, 38, was arrested on a charge of armed and masked robbery a week after police believe he robbed the Greenfield bank’s branch at 277 Federal St.

“Richard May was captured by Holyoke Police at about 6 p.m.,” said Greenfield Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy. “Holyoke patrol officers saw him walking, and confronted him. He tried to lie about his name, but they had enough photos (of May) to confirm it was him.”

May was seen by officers in the area of Southbridge and Hamilton streets. Though police earlier warned that May was likely to be armed and dangerous, May did not have a weapon on him when he was apprehended, said McCarthy.

“We greatly appreciate the Holyoke Police Department and state police for all they’ve done (to bring May in),” McCarthy said.

Shortly after the March 13 robbery, police identified May as a suspect, and issued a be-on-the-lookout order, bringing in state and local police across the commonwealth, as well as other law enforcement agencies.

May was thought to have been dropped off in Holyoke the day of the robbery, and was known to have ties to Boston and Worcester as well, leaving police to guess at his possible location.

Friday, they released May’s identity and picture to the public to help bring him in.

May is currently being charged with the March 13 robbery of the Greenfield Cooperative Bank, but police believe he is responsible for two robberies of the Main Street TD Bank branch, on Feb. 17 and March 3, as well.

Those robberies also involved a masked male suspect, armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.

Now that May is in custody on charges from last week’s robbery, police can focus on building a solid case against him for the TD Bank robberies, before filing charges, according to McCarthy.

The lieutenant said May will be arraigned in Greenfield District Court, though he did not yet know when on Wednesday night.

May has three previous armed robbery convictions from Worcester Superior Court in 1995, for which he was sentenced to four to 10 years in the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction. If convicted of a subsequent armed and masked robbery, May faces a mandatory minimum 15-year state prison sentence for each count.

David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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